My goal is to get thousands of adoptable shelter animals into good homes, care for them, improve their quality of life, and address the issues shelters face, while still being able to care for my dogs and myself.
The biggest thing that's changed for me is, it's achievable. It is real, I can actually accomplish that goal in small steps. Wow. It's hard to keep my chin up and stay focused because of how much I miss my dog, but if there's one thing I can still do for her, it's carry on in her memory and make the world better for dogs like her, because I love her.
I wish I could at least have closure. Odds are someone found her and just doesn't know who she belongs to, since she slipped her collar and I never did get her microchipped. I'm not mad at my roommate, it was an accident, if I could have just bought a new harness for her this would have never happened.
I know I'm bargaining. That is a part of grief, I recognize that. I need... to carry on. With this still being an unknown, focusing on the bad things will eat me up as opposed to focusing on the equally good chance she is safe, and well, and loved right now. Maybe even helping someone else in a bad place, or a family in a bad spot, be happier. I know God has a will in all things, and that life happens and the rain falls on the just and the injust.
From here, my next step is to work on adopting another dog. No one can ever replace Amanda, but I could really use a friend to lean on and help me get through this right now. I want to give that dog the incredible life I never got a chance to give Amanda.I was going to use this trucking job to take her hiking, explore new places, take my down time for camping and fishing.
She would need to be a good trucking dog of course, like Amanda was. Moderate exercise needs, three or four walks a day and spend the rest of the time riding in my rig, snoozing in back or chewing on toys. I know it's more about the personality of the dog than the size. A small high energy dog is just as bad a choice as an excessively large low energy one. A dog between those extremes would be perfect, a mix-breed mutt who needs a good home, about labrador size.
I'll spend the rest of this year getting my ducks in a row. The plan is to get my finances and my mentality into a better place, and then move to doing local driving work which gives me two days off a week. Explore the country first, visit my family again, decide on which dog-friendly city I'd like to settle down at, find a place of peace.
My exact plan, in small steps, is as follows for the time being:
First, do my research. With those two days a week off, I'll stay plenty busy. I'll need a car and maybe an apartment. Find a quality daycare place for my dog. Then, I'll take dog training classes, volunteer at a good no-kill shelter, ask questions, and learn a good bit. When I get the money I'll go to college for a course on animal shelter management, probably online so I can do it as I'm able through the week.
That's a half-a-year to one year goal, so it should be pretty stable. The stuff after that may change over time of course. It is exactly as outlined in my opening to this post.
Once I have the knowhow penned down, which is also a time to build my driving experience, I can then focus on getting the money I'll need to make this dream become reality. I thank God for bringing me to truck driving. Not only may I have my dog with me while I work, but it is incredibly flexible and gives me lots of independence and time to think.
I can change gears and go back over the road. I may very well stay with my current company, I appreciate the way I've been treated so far, or I may move on to something more lucrative, such as flatbedding or hauling oil. I may consider eventually getting my own truck, although that may be unwise if trucking isn't going to be a lifetime commitment for me, but rather a job I enjoy doing as a means to an end.
The long term goals from there, once I have the funding in three to five years, is all up in the air. It could change wildly, since I don't actually know what the best way to achieve my goal even is. However, I can make an educated guess.
If I started my own dog rescue, in situ with my driving skill, I could make a dramatic difference for homeless pets and transport them to and from my rescue, and to people who want to adopt them. If I buy my own truck, I could build a custom RV trailer for the purpose, and do disaster relief and big adoption events, perhaps even provide an extension for small shelters with an influx of animals.
This is where I could contact the group Rescue Roadtrips, which has a similar program but needs help staying afloat.
An idea I had today was, what if I build a non-profit dog daycare and boarding place to provide the funding for the rescue? It could give me a way to stay focused on my goals instead of being off somewhere else to earn the capital, and it could be a rewarding and enjoyable thing to do.
I could offer a wide range of services, daily hiking trips, training, social interaction and playtime, and kennel-free boarding in dog rooms or private rooms for shy/aggressive dogs. It's a booming and popular industry right now, although I would need to analyze future growth, and if I intend to settle in a dog-friendly city, then it could work perfectly.
As always I will entrust this to God in prayer, and as always, God bless and thank you for reading my blog.